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US makes up c 40% of global military spending, 10x Russia, 3x China

The United States spent $877 billion on its military in 2022, nearly 40% of the global total, 10 times more than Russia ($86.4 billion), and three times more than China ($292 billion). The US military budget is larger than the next 10 biggest spenders combined.

US military exercise tanks

(Se puede leer esta nota en español aquí.)


The United States was responsible for nearly 40% of global military spending in 2022.

The US military spent $877 billion, 10 times more than Russia ($86.4 billion), and three times more than China ($292 billion).

US military expenditure in 2022 was bigger than the next 10 largest spenders combined.

This means the Pentagon spent more than China, Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, Britain, Germany, France, South Korea, Japan, and Ukraine combined.

This is according to data published this April by the Sweden-based Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

SIPRI calculated that the planet’s total military expenditure was $2.24 trillion in 2022.

The United States, at $877 billion, thus made up 39.2% of total global military spending.

world military expenditure US graph 2022

The US-led NATO alliance spent a total of $1.23 trillion, meaning it was responsible for just over half (55%) of global military spending.

SIPRI reported that real military spending in Europe, adjusted for inflation, is at the highest levels since 1989, toward the end of the first cold war.

Europe is the region with the fastest growing military spending, the study found.

world military expenditure region graph 2022

Business Insider noted that the US federal government only dedicated $76.4 billion in discretionary spending for education in 2022, meaning it spent over 10 times as much on the military.

The Joe Biden administration has requested a mere $90 billion for education in 2024, compared to $842 billion for the military, Business Insider pointed out.

Moreover, all of these figures could be very conservative, given the US Department of Defense is notoriously opaque in its accounting.

Bloomberg reported that the Pentagon made $35 trillion in “accounting adjustments” in 2019, as well as $30.7 trillion in adjustments in 2018.

These irregularities in the Pentagon’s accounting are larger than the entire US economy.

The US Department of Defense has failed every audit it has ever tried.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. JonnyJames

    2023-05-03 at 10:52

    The way I understand it: The 877 billion is the annual DoD budget approved by Congress and the minimum amount.

    In addition to this, there are 10s, sometimes 100s of billions more in other legislative appropriations, foreign military support (like Ukraine, Israel etc), nuclear arsenal “modernization” and other military and related expenditures.

    Some claim the number is well in excess of a trillion per year, depending on the year.

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